Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Court Asked to Nullify Parliamentary Seats in Cities, Municipalities :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Court Asked to Nullify Parliamentary Seats in Cities, Municipalities

According to the petitioners, the creation of parliamentary seat/vacancy of members of Parliament representing Municipalities which are local governments and are not envisaged as part of the composition of Parliament is equally illegal.
Some of the petitioners at the High Court together with their lawyer Gawaya Tegule(Middle) in Kampala.

Audio 2

Two Civil Society Organizations and a lawyer Peter Gwayaka Magelah have petitioned the Constitutional Court in Kampala seeking an order to nullify 22 parliamentary seats some in new cities and municipalities. The CSOs are the Alliance for Finance Monitoring and the Walezi wa Katiba Foundation.

The petitioners argue that Section 8(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act that created the parliamentary seat of City Woman Representative is not provided for by the Constitution. They note that the occupation of Parliament by City Women representatives under the category of special interest group representation is also unconstitutional. 

The new cities include Arua, Mbale, Mbarara, Soroti, Fort Portal, Jinja, Gulu, and Hoima while the municipalities are Nansana Municipality, Kira Municipality, Makindye-Ssabagabo Municipality, Kisoro Municipality, Mityana Municipality, Njeru Municipality, Kitgum Municipality, Ibanda Municipality, Koboko Municipality, Mubende Municipality, Kumi Municipality and Lugazi Municipality. 

According to the petitioners, the creation of a parliamentary seat/vacancy of Members of Parliament representing Municipalities which are local governments and are not envisaged as part of the composition of Parliament is equally illegal.

The petitioners argue that the seats just impose a burden on the taxpayers because municipalities are Administrative units under Local Governments which are not supposed to have representatives in the August house.

They argue that the creation of the constituencies by the Parliament and Electoral Commission in 2020 more than 12 months after the publication of the national population census on March  23rd, 2016 is inconsistent and in contravention of Article 63(31(5)(7) of the Constitution. 

In one of the supporting affidavits, Magelah states that the Electoral Commission is enjoined to demarcate constituencies with the guiding principle of a population quota within 12 months after the publication of the results of a census of the population of Uganda.

“That to determine the population quota as provided for under Article 63(3)(7), there must be a national population census conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statics”, reads the affidavit.

It adds that “the creation of Municipalities without following the Constitutional guidelines laid down in Article 63 is unconstitutional and therefore the same should not stand”. 

The petitioners contend that the Constitutional Court is endowed with due mandate to interpret all laws in the country and to put acts and omissions of all persons that hold power of any kind on a weighing scale to ensure that there is a harmonious co-existence and compliance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Through their lawyers from Thomas and Michael advocates led by Gawaya Tegule, they are now seeking an order that the City Woman Representatives, City MPs, as well as municipality MPs, vacate their offices with immediate effect as the seats are legally non-existent.

//Cue in: “We received instructions…

Cue out… that is unconstitutional...".//

Luganda Audio.

//Cue in: “Nga tugamba nti...

Cue out: …ebistrayikinge awutu”.//

They also seek an order prohibiting the Electoral Commission from conducting elections for the said positions.

The records submitted to the Court show that this case has been filed in the higher public interest and that it is just, fair, and fitting for the national interest, rule of law, and constitutionalism that this petition be allowed and the prayers therein granted.

The Attorney General and the Electoral Commission are the only respondents in the case and are yet to be summoned to file their response to the petition before it can be fixed for hearing.